FTC Questions Big Tech About User Data | Avast

Opt-in to Cyber Safety. Multiple layers of protection for your devices, online privacy and more.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent orders this week to nine internet giants, demanding they share details of their data collection processes, including the method and manner in which they collect, use, store, and disclose information about individuals who use their services.

Amazon, Discord, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat owner Snap, and TikTok owner ByteDance were each served with the orders. “Privacy is becoming a major concern for citizens,” commented Avast Security Evangelist Luis Corrons, “and internet companies collect and use people’s data. It only makes sense for the government to learn what they are doing with it and how that data is being handled.”

The inquiry comes at a time when the biggest social media and video streaming services are under scrutiny from several factions. All companies named have been suspected of the improper use of consumer data and/or violations of the federal anti-monopoly law. In a joint statement, FTC Commissioners Chopra, Slaughter, and Wilson wrote, “It is alarming we know so little about companies that know so much about us.” The FTC gave the companies 45 days to respond to the orders.

6-year-old spends over $16,000 on in-app purchases

Real estate broker Jessica Johnson got a shocking surprise when she learned that the charges totaling $16,293.10 on her credit card bill came from her 6-year-old son George making in-app purchases while playing his favorite game on the iPad, Sonic Forces. When the Apple charges began showing up on her Chase bank statements, Johnson thought it must be fraud. She contacted Chase, which informed her that Apple scams are among the most common, and she’d have to contact Apple to resolve the matter. She did so, but learned the charges did originate from her account. In addition, Apple told her that she missed the 60-day window to dispute charges, so there was nothing the company could do. Unfortunately, Johnson had not taken steps to set up the parental controls on her son’s iPad to prevent this kind of situation. Read more on this story at the The New York Post.

International survey reports pandemic’s impact on kids

Over 26,000 children from 137 countries participated…